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Kim Wilson

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Kim Wilson Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 06, 2012 4 comments
So you've taken the leap and opted for separates, and now you're wondering how to set up the power amp properly with you're A/V preamp/processor. Relax, it's not difficult at all.
Kim Wilson Posted: May 09, 2012 3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $50 At a Glance: Streams a wide variety of content from various paid and free services • Easy setup • Built-in Wi-Fi • Small, compact form factor • Control device with free iPhone or Android app

With so many TVs and BD players offering streaming services these days, I didn’t think there would be a lot of demand for standalone units; yet, they keep coming, presumably for those still watching older equipment without this feature. When evaluating these units, the most important aspects are the services and channels provided, along with the user interface. The actual streaming quality is dependent on your Internet connection (which Netgear suggests should be no less than 3-4 Mbps for 720p, though I’d say 6 Mbps is safe for 1080p).

Kim Wilson Posted: May 08, 2012 14 comments
Photos Chris Woolman

What do you do with an underused loft space? Why, turn it into a dedicated home theater, of course! That was the challenge entrusted to Wilshire Home Entertainment of Thousands Oaks, California. The open, 400-square-foot loft required an enclosure and special acoustical materials to prevent sound leakage. The project included a new, custom staircase and the preservation of a large bay window that extends from the bottom floor to the ceiling of the second floor. It wasn’t possible to just remove it in the loft area, so it is still located behind the drop-down screen. When the theater is in use, Lutron motorized blackout shades block the light.

Kim Wilson Posted: Apr 30, 2012 3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $99 At A Glance: Control A/V gear from an iOS device or Android smartphones • Access to Logitech Harmony’s vast database of IR codes • Simplified setup of complex macro commands • Exclusive iPad feature offers logo-based TV guide

There are plenty of universal remotes to choose from, but my favorite has always been the Harmony line of remotes from Logitech. Their seamless integration with an online database offers fast and simple end-user programming. Knowing this, I was really looking forward to reviewing the Harmony Link, which provides the same simple programming as all other Harmony remotes. The big difference: Instead of programming an actual remote, the Harmony Link accesses your home Wi-Fi network to allow control of your A/V gear with an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later) or Android smartphone (running OS 2.0 to 2.3.4; not tablets, yet).

Kim Wilson Posted: Feb 03, 2012 1 comments
Photos Nick Woolley

Park City, Utah, boasts three world-class ski resorts. Canyons, the largest of the three, offers ski-in and out access to The Colony, a residential area where the homeowners of this theater reside part-time. When they aren’t on the slopes, this couple likes relaxing and sharing their custom home theater with friends and family.

Kim Wilson Posted: Jan 27, 2012 0 comments
Photos: Cornel Mocanu

This dedicated home theater creates a warm and inviting atmosphere where you can enjoy a glass of wine by the fire. It was built out as a retrofit in the family room, and the main feature the homeowner wanted to keep intact was the fireplace. He also wanted a wet bar and wine rack to create a homier environment.

Kim Wilson Posted: Jan 26, 2012 4 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,099 At A Glance: THX I/S Plus Certified • 3D compatible • Audyssey 2EQ auto calibration and room EQ • Network capable • Qdeo 4K upscaling

Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) systems generally cater to the extreme low end of the market, offering complete multichannel speaker and electronics packages (often including a DVD player) for as little as $300. The Onkyo HT-S9400THX is a cut above, offering a highly competent HTiB that is far beyond the all-in-one packages you can drop into a shopping cart at your local Target, though it does not include a disc player.

Filed under
Kim Wilson Posted: Nov 23, 2011 7 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $349 At A Glance: 3D compatibility • Audyssey MultEQ auto calibration • On-screen display via HDMI • iPod/iPhone/iPad connectivity • no component video I/O

Of all the sub-$400 AVRs I've reviewed, the Denon AVR-1612 is my favorite so far. It offers just the right balance of features for my needs, and its audio performance is robust and powerful. It offers the bare minimum of operational and setup features I believe are necessary to assure a satisfying user experience. Moreover, it's audio performance is quite good considering the price.

Kim Wilson Posted: Nov 18, 2011 4 comments
Photos William Psolka

When this Long Island homeowner was planning his home theater, his main criteria was that he wanted big sound and a big picture to make him shake in his seat. So Electronics Design Group (EDG) began its theater design with just these broad strokes. Fortunately, the homeowner was game for whatever it took to achieve his home theater dream.

Filed under
Kim Wilson Posted: Nov 03, 2011 2 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $330 At A Glance: 3D-compatible • On-screen display, analog only • Compatible with iPod/iPhone and iPad using supplied USB cable • Bluetooth compatible; requires adapter

This entry-level A/V receiver is a small investment that gets you into the new 3D landscape. It's powerful enough for a small to moderate-sized room, it provides essential surround codecs for the latest movie soundtracks, and it offers quick setup with Pioneer's exclusive auto-calibration system. While it does offer an onscreen display, giving it some points beyond even lower-priced AVRs, it doesn't output the OSD via HDMI. Bluetooth compatibility and a USB port provides some additional functionality and accommodation for wireless headphones and portable media devices.

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